Fortnite and the eSports World – The Fight to Stay Relevant

Daniel Mills  /   May 18

Fortnite and the eSports World – The Fight to Stay Relevant

Tomorrow night, Keemstar’s 2nd Fortnite Tournament gets underway! One of the few eSports avenues for Fornite right now. But that’s changing. Twitch star NICKMERCS and partner SypherPK will be there at tomorrow’s tournament to defend their title. It’s an exciting time to be a Fortnite: Battle Royale fan and player.

Somehow Epic Games has channeled an insane amount of success for their free-to-play game. Making more than 300 million dollars in the first quarter of this year.

Fortnite is drawing plenty of new gamers from around the world. Moving famous Twitch and Youtube streamers from games like Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch and Destiny 2. Fun gameplay, a great community, great controls, entertaining 3rd person shooting…There are countless reasons why Fortnite has taken the e-Sports world by storm. But what can it do to maintain that success?

Utilizing Seasons and Beta’s can’t be the only strategies to ensuring this game has a healthy shelf life. To first break down what Fortnite needs to do, let’s appreciate the first major online tournament organized by one of the most successful Youtubers out there.

Keemstar’s eSports Tournament Success

Keemstar - Youtube - eSports

Last week, Launchpad Gaming reported on the unsurprising success of NICKMERCS and his partner in Keemstar’s 1st Major Fortnite tournament. Not only that, the team managed to pull it off on a PS4. That’s right. Console users beat out PC users. Mind you, NICKMERCS has proven himself to be one of the best Fornite players out there. But to do so on a console is to further exemplify his talent.

Tomorrow, he and SipherPK will defend that title. The eSports tournament should prove even more successful than the first. But more importantly, it’s something for Fortnite fans to tune into. It’s original content. Matchmaking is still somewhat difficult to organize, but that doesn’t matter. Over time Epic Games should work out more than a few ways to breakdown matchmaking and more varied modes. But as of right now, the game is already drawing the attention and time of some of the best out there. Launchpad also wrote a piece on Team Solomid buying a house dedicated solely to its Fortnite players.

These teams should help to build momentum to ensure the H1Z1 league is successful. It’s also important that fans have something different to tune into. Just switching between Twitch, YouTube and Mixer things get repetitive. Even for a game like Fortnite. But as the game expands, as well as tournaments like these, there should be more than enough content for everyone.

How to Avoid Fates like Destiny 2

Destiny 2 - Bungie

In case you haven’t noticed, Destiny 2 is in bad shape right now. It’s almost as if Bungie is in a stand-off with its own fans. A community that is quickly shrinking. So how can Fortnite avoid such a fate? Well, it’s already working to avoid it. Epic Games is constantly listening to their community. They’re active on most Social Media platforms, including Reddit. Not only that, with weekly updates and frequently changing Seasons. There’s a built in incentive to buy the game.

Not only that, unlike games like Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Epic hasn’t completely robbed the community of its dignity with loot boxes. EA and even Disney drew plenty of ire for the way they handled microtransactions and a pay-to-win system.

Epic has done the exact opposite in that regard. They’re monetary success either comes from players becoming curious about the main game, which will also become free to play in the long run, or from skins and items. A Battle Pass creates a progression system with free skins, experience boosts and emotes. But otherwise, that’s it.

There’s no reaching into your pockets to create a better experience. Buying the Battle Pass activates a few collectibles and “mini-games” in the Battle Royale experience, but you’ll barely have any time to play them. Players who focus on those will find little mercy at the hands of those who quickly aim and shoot. By listening to the fans constantly, by keeping transactions to cosmetic and experience-based rewards, Epic is ensuring Fortnite: Battle Royale keeps drawing more and more fans.

Keeping the Community Happy

This is the most important detail of all. Even though Epic Games is arguably the best at it at the moment, it doesn’t matter. It needs to be discussed. Because taking your community for granted can completely destroy that community. Destiny 2 is being held together by a few diehard fans who are constantly hoping for the experiences they once had in the Destiny days of yore. Call of Duty is fighting to stay relevant amidst a million copycats that are doing a better job of staying relevant. Just look at Titanfall. 

Now that many other games are announce their own attempts at “Battle Royale” modes, how can Epic keep gamers happy and playing? Well, by continuing what they’re doing for one thing. The developer continues to listen to fans and players about what should be improved about the game. However, right now there isn’t a lot of variation to the modes. The game is still technically in beta. But as of right now, the only difference in any mode is the team formation. That needs to change. Not that tournaments and Twitch users won’t be focused on straightforward multiplayer.

They absolutely will as typical multiplayer will always remain the most competitive part of the game. But to keep casual players interested, there absolutely needs to be more modes that take advantage of the many mechanics in the game. Or some that limit players to only a certain weapon, melee weapons, an infection mode, and so forth. Don’t those sound fun? They will be, as soon as Epic gets around to making them.

Fortnite - Epic Games

However, the problem with the free-to-play model could be that there’s no incentive for the studio to bring more integrated multiplayer details over to Battle Royale. But those are necessary in ensuring the game stays relevant and updated. Hopefully, players can expect more variation as the game continues to evolve.

Endgame

Despite the fact that every game inevitably has one, there really shouldn’t be an “endgame” for Battle Royale. The only constant should be evolution. Updating Fortnite under the watchful eye of a great developer and the constructive and supportive critiques of a happy community. That’s the endgame. Creating enough promise and excitement for the future of the game that fans will want to play time and time again.

Think about how many fans will continue to joke about how terrible they are, yet continue to play. Because there’s more to the experience than wracking up kills. Actually, there are very few players that can manage that. Winning a match could literally require no kills at all, which happens! Not often, but such is the potential of one Match of Fortnite. In an eSports perspective, that’s not really the case. But as of right now, the tournaments are determined by kills rather than a straightforward competition.

Not a typical way to situate an eSports tournament, but that’s how badly people want to play this game. They’ll organize uniquely ruled tournaments just to get a game going. That’s the spirit. None of that would happen if it weren’t for the attentive and supportive nature of Epic Games, Fortnite: Battle Royale’s developer. Together, the community and the developer are already doing plenty to make sure the game stays relevant in eSports and casual play for a long, long time.